Time

You know what’s hard about writing in the morning before work? Every second I sit here unable to type because I can’t think of what to say feels like a second wasted because I don’t have time for this!

It was just after 6:30 when I fired up my computer and made myself some breakfast. Because of an update last night, it took a bit for my laptop to wake up, and then it moved slow for the first minutes of its morning. I finished my bowl of Trix and made hot chocolate to warm myself up. My cat Moses tried batting things off the table, his response to me ignoring him. He also expressed interest in sampling my hot chocolate, so I had to defend my drink.

Diego struggled to go downstairs, and now I need to listen for him so I can carry him back upstairs.

Now it’s 6:55 and I’m just barely starting to try to say something. Anything, at this point, because who has the time to be influential and memorable when they have to leave for work at 7:30?

There are pros and cons having a time limit. On the one hand, it helps me move quickly with more focus. I lose that factor where I care too much and won’t allow any writing to take place unless it’s groundbreaking. It sort of prevents me from getting in my own way too much. On the other, I panic a lot more, and my irritation level spikes. Animals needing outside when there’s a pet door they could go through downstairs, for instance, is one of my pet peeves. My computer freezing up makes me want to throw a massive tantrum and break the screen (like that’d help anything). Every noise is magnified, every distraction is impossible to ignore, and I’m surprised that I don’t wind up in the fetal position on the ground.

No matter when you write, where you write, with whatever time that you either set aside for yourself or is set for you, you can think up a list of pros and cons. If it’s too quiet, you can focus, but can you really? Is it easy for your mind to wander to everything else? If you listen to music, it can block out the rest of the world, but do you find yourself focusing more on the lyrics and spending too much time skipping songs you don’t want to listen to?

If you give yourself several hours to work, with no specific time to stop writing, do you find you’re not as concerned about spending the whole time writing? Do you find yourself on the internet browser of your choice more often than you should? Or is your phone often in your hand?

While I definitely feel the panic of having less than an hour to write, update my word count on the NaNo site, and pack my lunch, I agree that I can be really productive in that short amount of time. It might even be worth the cons that are present.

If you find yourself spending writing time not doing as much writing as you’d like, maybe it’s time to give yourself a time where you have to stop. Do you only write an hour at a time? Do you set three hours specifically? Five? Eight? There are no right or wrong answers here, but if you decide what your writing time is really going to be (i.e. start at seven, end at 8:30, no matter what), you might be more determined to make that time special in your mind, and you won’t be as likely to wander through the internet or playing games on your phone or texting your boyfriend the occasional update on what you’re doing (or distracting yourself from doing). You know you only have until 8:30 to get things done, so get ’em done!

And if you find that setting a specific time limit isn’t quite doing the trick, maybe it’s time to put your cellphone far away from you. And if you have to temporarily disconnect from the WiFi… Cut that cord! But not literally because I’m pretty sure the people in your house would get pretty angry if you snipped the cord on the router.

None of us really have time to waste. Setting a schedule just helps us remember that and respond accordingly.

Writing time should be important to you. Give it the dedication it deserves.

 

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